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NAICOM To Expand Agric Insurance

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The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) said it would expand agricultural insurance to address the needs of farmers at the grassroots.

Commissioner for Insurance,Mr Fola Daniel,  made this known in Abuja on Sunday while fielding questions from newsmen.

“The agriculture insurance has been with us for nearly 20 years. Nigeria is predominantly an Agricultural Country, forget the distraction that oil and gas cost us as a nation.

“We’ve an agricultural insurance for nearly 20 year; they have done very well given the circumstances under which they operate.

“We are looking at extending agricultural insurance to the grassroots and for us to extend it to the grassroots; we probably need more than one company to do it.

Daniel told The Tide source that NAICOM was determined to get insurance companies that had capacity to undertake agriculture insurance to key into the programme.

This, he said, would help to extend the frontier of the service to more farmers and help to sustain food security.

He added that expanding agriculture insurance to the grass roots would help to stem rural-urban migration.

“In the past 20 years to 25 years, young men abandoned the farm, came to town and took jobs as security guards whereas agricultural endeavor is more rewarding and give more money.

“One of the reason they deserted agriculture is because of the risk of nature; there were no insurance covers, so what we want to do is to give a holistic agricultural cover to all our farming populace both in crops and in live stock,’’

On Takaful Insurance (Islamic Insurance), Daniel said that it was another avenue to bridge the huge insurance gap in the country.

Our Muslims brothers and sisters have certain objections to conventional insurance. They believe that the way we practice conventional insurance might offend their way of serving God.

“That is the gap Takaful Insurance is here to bridge. All the objections that you find that people hold on very firmly to their religious beliefs have been taken care of with Takaful.

“Takaful Insurance is a mutual insurance,’’

Daniel told reporters that Islamic insurance was equally acceptable to non-Muslims and had been in practice in many countries in the world, including South Africa.

“America is predominantly a Christian society. Takaful is doing well there. Takaful Insurance is also doing well in South Africa, so that is why we believe that we need to introduce Takaful so that we can reduce insurance gap.

Daniel stressed that Nigeria had a huge insurance gap that needed to be bridged.

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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